Specialist services for children and young people

Support for the specialist needs of children and young people with SEND

cartoon image of a young person using a wheelchair

Depending on your child or young person's area of need, there are services in Walsall that can help.

Our teams

Walsall Child Development Service is a multi-agency team of professionals from health, education and social care.

For children in the Walsall borough between 0 and 19 years, this service aims to:

  • assess children with disabilities and complex needs
  • provide appropriate and timely support for children with disabilities and complex needs
  • monitor the progress of children with disabilities and complex needs

This specialist social work team works with children and young people aged 0-18 who:

  • have a complex disability
  • are permanent residents in Walsall borough (including children in care placed out of area)

The team offers a social work assessment and care planning service. It's based at the Goscote Centre  and located within the All Age Disability Hub.

The EYSEN team supports children with SEND from birth to five years of age. It's made up of specialist teachers and senior learning support practitioners.

Support for families

We can support your child at home or in their pre-school setting. When they move to primary school, we’ll help them with the changes.

To make sure you child gets the right support, we work with:

  • Team around the Child (TAC)
  • Walsall Child Development Centre
  • speech, language and occupational therapists, and physiotherapists
  • paediatricians, health visitors and other agencies

Support for professionals

The team can help with:

  • creating an inclusive curriculum and learning environments
  • the consultation process for identified children (with parent’s consent)
  • play-based assessments
  • funding pathways and the EHCP process
  • support for children, parents and staff through direct teaching, modelling techniques, strategies and signposting
  • TAC reviews
  • training

The service provides psychological advice to the council as part of education, health and care needs assessments.

Support for families

The team applies psychology creatively in educational settings. They will:

  • listen to the views of children and young people, and their parents/carers
  • provide training to schools, parents and other professionals
  • carry out a range of activities to assess the needs of children and young people
  • consult with adults in educational settings to support children and young people
  • undertake therapeutic work

Support for professionals

We offer half termly “support and share” sessions to all school SENCOs, as a forum for group problem solving. We work alongside the Early Years SEND team to support early years settings.

Traded services

We also offer traded sessions to all nurseries, schools and colleges in Walsall.

We will we agree priorities for our involvement through termly planning meetings with school SENCOs. This could be individual or group casework, training or project work.

Multi-agency assessment is when a team of professionals work with you and your child to understand your child’s needs. You know your child best, so you’ll be fully involved in the assessment. Professionals bring their specialist knowledge to the process.

Your child could be referred for multi-agency assessment due to concerns about:

  • shared attention
  • play skills
  • social communication
  • language development
  • sensory responses

The assessment usually happens over a long period of time. It’s made up of individual and team appointments.

We’ll ask about:

  • your child’s development
  • how your child interacts, plays and communicates at home
  • your concerns and what you hope to come out of the assessment

We will observe your child as they play and engage in what’s around them. We’ll listen and talk with each other and with you and other key carers. When we’ve got a picture of your child’s strengths, needs and learning style, we’ll work out the next steps.

The team may include:

  • parents/carers
  • childminder, nursery or school staff
  • advisory teachers
  • clinical psychologist
  • occupational therapist
  • paediatrician
  • specialist health visiting team
  • speech and language therapists

Sensory support teams are qualified teachers of deaf or visually impaired children, with specialist learning support practitioners. They support children and young people aged 0-25 years. This includes helping families to understand what impact a sensory impairment can have on learning.

Support continues through school and sometimes into further education. It includes activities that will help young people to become independent.

Vision impairment team

We support children and young people who are blind or have a vision impairment. This could be at home, in early years settings or at school.

We work to make sure that we meet the specific needs of each child or young person.

Sensory support hearing team

We support children and young people who have mild to severe or profound deafness.

This includes:

  • teaching sign language to you and your family
  • running “fieldmice”, a support group for pre-school children and families
  • supporting your child's mental health and self esteem

We also work with schools to train and advise teachers and staff on deaf awareness, and liaise with health services.

Walsall’s Child Development Service's team around the child (TAC) provides a service for children from 0-5 years of age who have a:

  • disability
  • potentially-disabling condition
  • significant developmental delay

The team will include the key practitioners who regularly see you and your child to provide practical support.

The service supports children and young people aged 10 to 18 years who:

  • are on the periphery of offending
  • have committed an offence and have either:
    • received a disposal from the police, or
    • a statutory community order, or
    • are remanded in/sentenced to custody

YJS is a multi-agency partnership, working closely with police, social care, education, CAMHS and probation service. The team focuses on young peoples' well-being and provide opportunities to change thinking and behaviour around offending. Child focused plans are developed to support young people to stay in school and achieve. The service can also provide access to training and employment opportunities. YJS support victims of crime too.

Portage is an educational support service for pre-school children (0-5) with SEND and their families.

Your child can have an initial portage assessment following a TAC referral. Assessments can take place at home or in an early years setting. After this, we will talk with you to work out the best type of EYSEN support for your child.

You can find out more about portage from the National Portage Association:

External services

The NHS provides help with communication:

There's lots of extra support to help children and young people cope with daily challenges:

NHS services that can work with you if you have needs that affect your ability to move:

Contact information

Before contacting us, please check to see if we can answer your question from our online information.

Write to us:

The Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall WS1 1TP